Thursday, May 25, 2023

Better Shop Around

We started off a somewhat earlier morning with breakfast and more Hogan's Heroes. Hogan finds himself "Up In Klink's Room" when he fakes a rare disease to join Klink in the hospital. He and Newkirk are really interested in getting information from a wounded informant. 

I wanted to get an earlier start because we were going further afield. Called Uber around 10 AM to take us to Marlton. They arrived in seven minutes. Thankfully, there was no traffic anywhere on the road, not even on the highway. The driver pulled up at the Cottage Resale Shop within a half-hour.

I'd wanted to check out this American Girl resale store again since I first explored it last summer. It's a tiny little shop embedded in the side of an otherwise ordinary 20's-era cottage. The owner's two energetic Springer Spaniels charged in when they heard our voices. They were only used to their papa, and they wanted to play! Lauren laughed at their antics, while I found Kit's original red Christmas dress and a second Molly's Underwear set for Kit on the historical outfit shelves, along with a random petticoat in a bag of damaged or stray outfit pieces. (I don't think Kit ever had an underwear set of her own. Molly's time period is so close to hers, I figure she can get away with it. And the petticoat will go to Felicity or Josefina.) 

Our next stop was a couple of blocks down and across Marlton's historic Main Street. I loved Sal's Pizzaworks when I was there last July and wanted to introduce Lauren to it. It's a hole-in-the-wall nestled in a small shopping center between larger, older buildings. For all their small size, they not only have outdoor seating, but an up-to-date Coke Freestyle machine. Lauren had a pepperoni slice, a broccoli slice, and extra-lemony Sprite. I had a mushroom slice, a broccoli slice, and Dr. Pepper Cherry Vanilla. Our meals only cost us about 5 dollars each. We enjoyed it on their patio, letting the strong wind blow over us.

Our next stop, Among Other Things thrift shop, was only a block away on the end of Main Street. This long building filled with everything from vintage 50's prom gowns to 80's and 90's children's books isn't as big as the Barrington Antique Center, but it still has several rooms to explore. Lauren didn't get anything here, but I found a vintage book of prince and princess fairy tales and a genuine 80's off-brand Cabbage Patch Kids outfit, a red checked blouse with a sail boat print and bow-trimmed jean shorts. It'll be perfect for my girlier Cabbie Dulcie. 

Made our way down the street, past two large shopping centers. We did check out Chico's, but found nothing of interest. I wanted to stop at Trader Joe's for those yummy peanut butter and chocolate and chocolate and almond butter cereal bars I like. They didn't have the sugared orange slices I've loved every time I went there, so I went with dried, sugared coconut strips and mandarin orange pieces instead.

It was a less than ten-minute walk down to the Promenade at Sagemore. At least, unlike when I visited there in July, the weather was perfect for a long walk. Sunshine and blazing blue skies, with a strong wind that kept everything nice and cool. I'm not sure it even got out of the 60's. We passed a gas station, an elementary school with a huge playing field and playground, and two pharmacies before we arrived at Virtua Health. Cutting across their parking lot took us to the street between it and the Promenade.

The Promenade turned out to be a bust. They're a lovely, modern brick-and-glass shopping center with lots of fancy name brand stores like Talbots, Anthropologie, Ann Taylor, and The Loft that we can't afford, and other than Talbots, don't really carry my size anyway. Didn't do any better at L.L Bean this time. I'm not going camping anytime soon, don't need more tote bags or backpacks, and their clothing prices aren't great. 

The only thing we did there was go to the bathroom. The Promenade cleverly made their own bathrooms by partitioning off the bathrooms of an unused restaurant. It definitely had been a restaurant once. The "seating area" was booths without the tables, and the orange, green, and blue-striped partition looked like the walls of a chain eatery.

By 3:30, we were tired of looking at fancy stores that were beyond our budgets and finally settled down on a bench to rest and figure out what to do next. I looked up area shopping centers on my phone to see if there was anything more to our liking. I'd wanted to check out the big mall with the TJ Maxx across from the turn off to Main Street, but didn't want to cross the busy highway to get there. Circumvented that problem by calling Uber. The driver arrived in fifteen minutes and got us there in less than five.

The sprawling Marlton Crossings Shopping Center was really more to our taste and budgets anyway. I saw everything there from Michaels to an Arthur Murray dance studio. We didn't find anything at TJ Maxx, but we did see a Rocket Fizz on the other side of the mall. So that's where they ended up after the Westmont store shut down! Rocket Fizz is an eclectic candy store focusing on penny candy, rare candy imported from England, hard-to-find older candy and chocolate, toys, and novelty sodas. Lauren bought a container of gummy root beer bottles, a Flake chocolate bar from England, a fruit soda, and a Beanie Baby giraffe. I filled a bag with my favorite sugared fruit slices, grabbed an English mint Aero "aerated chocolate" bar, and a small bottle of New York Seltzer in French Vanilla. Hadn't seen those since I was a kid. 

We decided to try something different and had dinner at Joe's Peking Duck House. It was small but elegant, with red patterned tables and yellow lanterns giving off a soft glow on the ceiling. We shared a pot of tasty hot tea and a bowl of sticky white rice. Lauren had jumbo shrimp with walnuts and broccoli. I had sweet and sour chicken (something else I haven't had in years). She shared her broccoli with me. For once, the plates weren't too full. We finished everything but the bowl of rice and two sweet and sour chicken nuggets.

It took 7 minutes to get a ride home, not bad considering it was still rush hour. Everything was smooth sailing until we got into Westmont. The lady driving hit traffic on Cuthbert, which meant that a one-minute drive became fifteen. It was fine once we got past the corner of Haddon and Cuthbert. 

Once we got in, I texted Jessa to tell her when we wanted to meet tomorrow while Lauren put on more Hogan's Heroes. Given our lunch today, "The Pizza Parlor" was rather appropriate. Italian stalag manager Major Bonicelli (Hans Conried) is at Stalag 13 supposedly to learn how Klink runs a model camp. What he really wants to do is get out of Germany. He's a loyal Italian, but isn't a fan of war or the Germans. Hogan convinces London to call the Newark pizza parlor owned by the father of one of the prisoners in order to get his pizza recipe, then uses said pizza to win Bonicelli over to their side.

Finished out the night online after a much-needed shower with You're Never Too Young. I go further into this remake of the 1942 comedy The Major and the Minor featuring Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Tomorrow, we're going to hit Barrington and the Deptford Mall with Jessa. And next year, I think we'll forgo the Promenade and just figure out how to get across the street to Marlton Crossings.

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